Sunday, October 14, 2007

Amy Reads the Week (of October 14th, 2007)

It was Our Local Library’s biannual book sale this weekend, and Gentle Reader, Mr. Reads and I made a killing. Well, we made a maiming, at least, as there were Many People buying more books than we. But at $15/brown paper bag, there are many, many books to be found.

And find them we did. Mr. Reads and I came home with 2 ½ bags full of books, young and old, paperback and hardcover, and only $35 poorer for our troubles.

As always, We Reads explore the older titles, sitting abandoned, alone, collected from Some Old Soul’s attic, perhaps, or just Found. Last year’s Perfect Find was a 1940s book about the French Quarter, with the inscription, “Harry sent this book to Maude from New Orleans, July 8th, 1944,” and a stamped envelope—but no letter—dated July 28th, 1944. Mr. Reads found this while I was Out of Town, and presented it to me when I returned. Some wives receive flowers; I am All The Richer for the gifts of old books, action figures, and comics. Flowers wither, Friends, but Catwoman action figures are forever.

This year, we found pristine copies of Margaret Atwood’s The Blind Assassin and George Pelecanos’s The Night Gardener, various gothic thrillers from the 50s, 60s, and 70s, several old novels from the 20s and 30s for our “Quirky Old Novel” bookshelf, a 1921 Baker’s Handbook (as This Humble Author collects odd and old cookbooks—the more rustic, regional, and annotated, the better!), and, the cream, a nineteenth-century pocket edition of Virgil’s Aeneid.

But upon carrying these books into Chez Reads, and unpacking them, Mr. Reads and I discovered that we are Perilously Close to Running Out Of Shelf Room.

These are Trying Times, Gentle Reader, when Our Book Bounty Overfloweth, onto The Floor.

Stacks of books, next to bookshelves, but not quite on them. All the King’s Horses and all the King’s Men could not cram another book onto My Cookbook Shelves Again. Some shelves are Double and Triple stacked, with paperbacks crammed into any available space. We have weeded, and weeded, and sold, and donated, and given away, but still, This Humble Author cannot part with one of her six copies of Jane Eyre, nor can she give away any of the books on the “To Read” shelf until she has tried “To Read” them again.

Of course, this is Part and Parcel with the job. Not one but two English majors in one home. Not one but two English instructors in one home, one M.F.A., one almost-Ph.D., and as books are Our Livelihood, we cannot rightly trim the fat, now can we? We’ve our book collection insured, in fact, as without my books, I cannot write my Dissertation.

But truly,
as without my books, I cannot live.

We’ve sacrificed much for our book collection: my once-Victorian attraction to knickknacks, now abandoned. White space? Overwhelmed by bookshelves. Closet space? Ask Mr. Reads, who has a five-foot deep bookshelf crammed into his. We’ve a need to purchase more shelves, but where to put them?

Any thoughts, Gentle Reader? Do you have Secret and Arcane Book Storage Knowledge you care to share with us? Are you the Dr. Strange of Organization? If so, Friends, please, share! We’ve little space to grow here, but we are in Great Need.

Unfortunately, so, too, are we in Great Need of remembering to turn on the alarm clock, as a surprise nap on This Humble Author’s end, and a long and much-deserved afternoon of video gaming on Mr. Reads’s end meant that we missed picking up our Pull List from Our Local yesterday evening. Wonder Girl, Booster Gold, Buffy, and others wait for us, and tomorrow, we shall endeavor to try, try, try again.


SallyP said...

I feel your pain. Have you considered adding on a library to your house? SOME foolish people add onto their kitchens, or add a family room, but EVERYONE needs a library!

And yes, mine is pretty darned full too.

Dark Orpheus said...

I feel your pain. I've thrown out unnecessary furnitures - including my study desk and chair - to make way for more bookshelves - and it's still not enough. If you ever find the solution to book storage - do share!

AcadeMama said...

This is not so strange, but knowing that you're a renter and can't very well Re-Model a Fabulous Private Library Addition, I thought I'd ask if you have even the tiniest of an attic? If so, books that go up..well, they stay least until you need to get them down. Also, switching out any coffee table you currently have for ones that open a'la trunk style would help the situation. (FYI: Oprah had Nate on her show a while back displaying many a space-increasing, multi-functional piece of furniture like I mention, so you might could browse her site for details.)

Short of buying The Vast Number of Literary Treasures like booty in the backyard, these are my best suggestions :)

AcadeMama said...

Sorry, not "buying"..."burying" --